The joke is wearing thin

Passing Red

OPINION: Far from being a celebration of art, Passing Red is a symbol of a political and financial debacle that has bled the arts dry in this town.

Art and debate are linked everywhere, not just here

Arts Festival

OPINION: We may not all be card carrying members of the city's literati but we love, celebrate and support this place in all its colours and idiosyncrasies, writes Denise Irvine.

A consultant and a tomcat as seen by an Israeli diplomat

"You remind me of a tomcat I owned in Jerusalem, Michael," said Shmuel Ovnat, Israel's Ambassador to New Zealand.

In a word: How not one became none

OPINION: Reader Kerrianne Lindsey wrote to me not long ago with a query about the word none.

Verge of best picture award train wreck

With the Academy Awards ceremony less than a week away a once-close race for best picture now looks anything but.

Herding MPs challenge when whip comes down

Late one evening in Parliament, during the Budget debate that my next speaker wasn't in his seat ready to take the call.

Scratching around in the dust not a productive way to farm


Things were chugging along OK until recently. The rain came just in time and the grass kept growing.

Real value in theatre

Founders theatre

OPINION: The Hamilton Theatre Review report has arrived and, to many, the recommendations are not surprising.

Movie's depiction of torture raises questions

Zero Dark Thirty

OPINION: Torture is one of the moral issues of our time.

In a word: To compare the differences

OPINION: Mick Hart wants to know the difference between compared with and compared to.

Greig waved a big schtick

Tony Greig

It's a reflection on the sentimental side of human nature that familiarity need not always breed contempt.

A year of departures, arrivals and comedy

Kim Dotcom in MegaChristmas

Why settle for impartial advice when you have already made up your mind?

Spare a thought, and some food, for those who struggle


One can be smug about how well we look after our poor and the aged.

Unfair share falls on the milker


In my farming career, I have found plenty of elephant traps on farms, often the hard way.

Rats! Panic and calmness when stuck in a lavatory

Rats still cause me to shudder after I heard a graphic story from a friend.

We've all got a few irrational fears. Quite often they involve sinister stuff like spiders, cockroaches, vermin, old boyfriends, burning houses . . . That kind of thing.

Hamilton in 2040: City of Alcohol

Friday night in Hamilton.

OPINION: Joshua Drummond peeks into the future to see what Hamilton will be like in the year 2040.

Not for get-rich-quick investors

Have we just created one generation of rich dairy investors and to hell with the future?

Nun's soapy penance offset by cream buns

I have previously spoken of my early convent miseducation at St Bernard's Convent, Brooklyn, Wellington in the 1950s, although have not spoken of the actual process of instruction, which was a hit-and-miss affair.

Symbol of British fighting spirit

Britain's Prince Charles talks to actors Daniel Craig as they arrive for the royal world premiere of the new 007 film

Love him or loathe him James Bond has become a cultural constant.

What became of the cowboy builders and the shonky jobs?

They came thundering over the horizon and across the Canterbury Plains in a swirl of dust and heat and beating hooves, nail pockets flapping wildly in the wind and spirit levels at the ready in the saddle holster.

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